I am very difficult to live with. This, if you were to ask anyone with whom I have shared living space, is significantly understated. My daughter was living for the day she could go off to college, or to work, or to jail, anywhere but home. I am aware. I am a Virgo and I believe the symbol for that astrological sign should not be a fair maiden holding a sheaf of wheat signifying the virgin (?) but rather a tightly wound spinster with a magnifying glass symbolizing the nitpicker. I’m particular with a capital P……and A…….aw hell, just capitalize the whole word. What the years have taught me is to let go. Not to be unaware – there are not enough drugs and alcohol in the world to make me that blind – but rather to keep my thoughts and possibly tempting comments to myself. I try to remember that I’m the one who wants things a certain way and it is not incumbent on the rest of humanity to see it my way. After all, who cares if you leave a food wrapper on the kitchen counter even though the trash receptacle is literally at your feet? Or whether or not you run water in the dish you just put in the sink so that whatever was in it washes off easily instead of becoming chisel-worthy? Well,….. that would be me……longing to understand why…….silently…..most of the time as opposed to none of the time, as in my earlier years. It’s not the end of the world, right? It used to bother me a lot, like having to listen to Mariachi music for an afternoon. Now it’s been dialed down to the level of having sand in my bathing suit bottom for an hour or so. It’s an ongoing process, to recognize the small stuff in an attempt not to sweat it. However, the big things are not negotiable. To me, truth is beauty and beauty is truth. That simple.
For the men in my life, this is absolute and requires broad spectrum application. Don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to me. One more time for the cheap seats, DON’T LIE TO ME! I have experienced the various temperaments, multiple personalities, levels of possession by dark forces, quality of untruths and infidelities, etc, of the men in my life. A couple, who shall remain nameless because I fear litigation, were truly world class liars. Or perhaps I just see them that way because I consider myself to be intelligent, possessing genius level IQ, and it’s hard to imagine that love could make me so monumentally stupid. But it did. Actually, there was always a part of me that knew I was being lied to, that knew I was being emotionally abused. Whenever that little voice inside me would conflict with the story I was being told, kind of a “You gonna believe me or your lying eyes?” type of thing, I would shift into crazy gear, focusing on the minutiae of my life, on the things I could correctly identify, quantify, control. Like an anorexic. I would do anything but let go of the unhealthy relationship, the cruel bastard. And when, almost inevitably, the truth came to light, the apologies would come rolling out like government workers at City Hall during an anthrax scare.
I had a pattern in my youth, one of trying to forgive – I knew that forgetting was NEVER going to be possible without a sharp blow to the head, in which case it was all moot – and let my heart stay open. As a result, my relationships/marriages lasted waaaaay longer than they should have. Yes, I’m a serial monogamist…….or a slow learner, depending on your point of view. All I can say is that intelligence is no guarantee of good judgment. Love can be blind, deaf, mute, and, on occasion, heavily medicated. I mean, how many things can Prozac make out to sound like a good idea at the time? Really!
But I’ve changed. Warm and fuzzy feelings like sympathy for human frailty, compassion for how sorry they are, forgiveness, tenderness……SO not my policy anymore! I actually used to try and hurry up and heal, put a smile on my face, so that they wouldn’t feel bad about having hurt me!! On a scale of 1 – 10, that kind of dumb easily rated a 1,007. I no longer pretend that it wasn’t that bad. I no longer pretend that time will heal all wounds. I no longer pretend that they love me, deep down. I no longer pretend that I am going to give them a chance to do it again. The first lie has been the last in nearly every case for quite a while now. At this point in my life, if a man lies to me and I have any desire to continue with the relationship, there will be lines to toe, atonement to be sought, occasions to be risen to, rigid rules of behavior to be followed, all of which will be on my terms with no promises, and it will all take as long as it takes. Until I’m comfortable. Until I’m satisfied. Until I trust again. No more compromising. No more latitude. In fact, very little reasonability either. It is literally my way or the highway. Mature, merciless, menopausal. ‘Nuff said? On the other hand, I don’t care whether the seat is up or down……….